Across the Western Downs, in recent times, we have been saddened to see workers being faced with the reality of their role being made redundant. Regardless of whether you saw the warning signs or the redundancy was a complete shock, facing this situation is never an easy experience. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you are able to put your best foot forward after being dealt the redundancy card.
- Don’t take it personally: Treating a redundancy as a personal attack on you and your work is not helpful. It can be tough to move through the initial embarrassment and anger you may feel towards your employer. But you need to remember that the job was made redundant – not you. Redundancy is not a reflection on you personally. It’s natural to feel an element of self-pity, but if you do feel that you are wallowing rather than planning your next step, it might be a good idea to seek some help so that you can move forward. If you are having regular thoughts doubting your self-worth, regular outbursts of anger, or notice changes in your sleeping and eating patterns, then you may be suffering anxiety or depression. Talking to your GP is a good starting point if you feel the stress is becoming overwhelming.
- Look at the positives: While at first it may be difficult for you to find the bright side of being made redundant, after some time has passed, try to consider the positives in your situation and focus on those. Is this an opportunity for you to re-evaluate what you want out of life and your career? If you weren’t happy in your previous position why not take this opportunity to refocus, retrain and/or get yourself back out into the workforce in a different role.
- Get on the job hunt: As they say, the quicker you ‘get back on the horse’ the better. Update your CV and resume with any new skills you obtained, and start looking for jobs as soon as possible. It can be challenging to go back through the motions of applying for jobs and going to interviews but keep the end goal in sight and learn from each interview. It’s important to remember that it could take a while; some people can walk straight into a new job, while for others it may take a few weeks or months to secure a job. By being persistent and staying positive you increase your chances of having a successful job hunt. Use networks like local Chambers of Commerce or internet networks such as LinkedIn to keep across what opportunities are out there.
- Get your finances in order: Upon finding out you’re being made redundant, it’s important that you get your finances in order. If you receive a large lump sum payment, it can sometimes feel a bit like a lotto win. You might be tempted to ‘treat yourself’ and your family. But before you do, you might be interested to know that a 2010 study by researchers found, that the more money you win in the lottery, the more likely you are to end up bankrupt! So be wise and seek some advice from your financial advisor and/or accountant on the best options for paying off debt, investing and saving, before you go on a spending spree. Find out if all or part of your pay-out is taxable. Prioritise what is most important for you and your family in the short and long term. Remember you may not secure a steady income stream for some time, so don’t go out and ‘blow it’ on unnecessary items. You might want to consider making extra loan repayments, especially where redraw is available. If your payout is not enough to support your family for very long, then you need to be talking to your bank about deferring payments if that is an option. Again, communicate with your accountant and/or financial advisor and ask them to help you plan carefully.
Being made redundant can be an exciting time, but it can also be incredibly stressful – both financially and emotionally – so don’t try and do it alone. Talk to peers that you trust and be sure to seek professional financial and accounting advice.
The information in this document is general advice only and does not constitute tax advice. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial solutions or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this information, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek professional tax advice from a tax adviser or registered tax agent.